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31st Annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade

    THIS EVENT IS IN THE PAST!

  • WHEN Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 11 a.m.
  • WHERE County Administration Building, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
    Map | Website
  • AGES All ages
  • COST Free

The 31st annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade returns on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, celebrates and honors veterans from all branches of the military.

This is also the nation’s largest public parade of U.S. Armed Forces in uniform formations from all five military branches.

“We are very thankful to the 80,000-plus members of the community that come out to view and support our veterans each year,” says Jack Harkins, president of Veterans Week San Diego, which produces the event. “Without them, our generous sponsors, and the veterans and community organizations that participate in the parade, we couldn’t make this patriotic event happen.”

This year’s theme, “A Tribute to Heroes at Home,” recognizes contributions by veterans to their communities and country.

Fittingly, the 2017 Grand Marshal is retired Navy Captain Jack Ensch, who, after serving over 30 years in the military, went on to join the San Diego Padres Baseball Club as Director of Military Marketing, establishing the only military marketing department in all of professional sports at that time. This program has since been adopted by sports organizations throughout the country.

Though Ensch’s military career initially began in 1956 with the U.S. Army, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1965 where he became a fighter pilot. During the Vietnam War, then-lieutenant Ensch was credited with destroying two enemy MiG-17 aircraft in aerial combat. On August 25, 1972, Ensch was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War. He was held in captivity for 216 days before being released during Operation Homecoming on March 29, 1973.

The 2017 San Diego Veterans Day Parade exists to honor the service of all veterans and to extend a special tribute to veterans, like Ensch, who have served and sacrificed throughout their military careers, often to go on to equally valuable second careers or volunteer involvement in community organizations of all kinds.

Beginning at the County Administration Building, the one-mile parade route proceeds south on North Harbor Drive to cross Broadway and continues past the USS Midway to Pacific Highway, then turns left to the dismissal area on Pacific Highway.

Multiple parade viewing areas offer great spectating along the entire route.

Take public transportation:
Travel to the parade is best by trolley, from any Green, Orange or Blue Line Trolley Station. Arrival at the Santa Fe Depot station downtown, or at nearby prior stops on any of the three lines, will place parade viewers within one- or two-block walks to prime viewing areas.

Parking is extremely limited in the parade area, and a 30-minute walking time should be allowed to reach a viewing area after parking on streets downtown, in Little Italy, or on West Harbor Drive parking locations in the vicinity of the Convention Center.

Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

Promotional photo for the 31st Annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade. Courtesy of Veterans Week San Diego

Above: Promotional photo for the 31st Annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade. Courtesy of Veterans Week San Diego

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